Monday, February 9, 2015

THAW: Winter's Child and Winter's Queen Review


Winter's Child:  
A barren king and queen pray for a child, and when in their loneliness, they make one out of snow, their prayers are answered in a special, and unusual way. 

Sometimes, when we get what we wish for, we don't know what to do with it.

Winter Queen:
A slightly pampered girl allows her avoidance behavior to isolate her from the world... and it's only when she takes the final step that she realizes the wall she's built in the name of safety is also the one that will hold her prisoner forever... unless she discovers how to destroy it.

The only one who can break a neurosis... is the one who has it.
 
Winter's Child and Winter Queen are the first two books in E. Kaiser Writes's Thaw series, which combines and retells the stories of Frozen, "The Snow Queen", and another little-known fairytale, "The Snow Baby". I like how the author mixed these old and new fairytales, using each one to build on the others and adding her own unique elements. I particularly liked the use of "The Snow Baby" to explain how Ilise (inspired by Frozen's Elsa) got her powers in the first place. Both books have a very classic fairytale feel as well, which was also nice.

Unfortunately, Winter's Child, the first book in the series, didn't wow me, mostly because I felt it could've been fleshed out a lot more. Most of the book is spent jumping from one place and time to another, with the result that I never felt like I got to know any of the characters really well. Several times, one character or another would do something and I'd wonder: "Where did that come from? That's not who I thought you were." Probably the best part of Winter's Child is the royal family of Demargen. I love large families in literature, and the Demargen family is an excellent, well done example of that.

Thankfully, my issues with Winter's Child are mostly cleared up in Winter Queen. The story flowed nicely, and I feel like I got to know the characters much better. Once again, Hess, prince of Demargen, was probably my favorite part of the story. The author handled his development very well, and I felt genuinely sorry for him at the end of the book. (Note: the third book in the series focuses solely on Hess, which makes me happy. I want to see him get better again.) Ilise and her gradual "thaw" were also fairly well done, though not quite as smooth as Hess's development.

One final note about both books is that I wish the author had run them by an editor/proofreader one last time before publication. Maybe it's just my copies, but both Winter's Child and Winter Queen had just enough issues with missing words and possible grammatical errors to bug me.

Overall, Winter's Child and Winter Queen together make up a nice retelling that combines new and old fairytales. If you enjoy Frozen or fairytale retellings, you'll probably like these books as well.

3 comments:

  1. Great review! Thanks for the heads up about the missing words and grammatical errors so I'll be prepared! Looking forward to reading this myself! :)

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    1. Thank you, and you're welcome! Hope you enjoy the books!

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  2. I'm working my way through this series now. Great review!

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